The spat between New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and a Santa Fe hair stylist has gotten as ugly as – dare we say it? – a lousy haircut.
Earlier this week, KOB-TV ran an interview with Antonio Darden, who has cut the Republican governor’s hair a handful of times. Darden, who is gay, announced he would never do so again unless Martinez dropped her opposition to gay marriage.
The spectacle of the stylist's protest worked the Internet into, well, a lather. (The story lends itself to all sorts of goofy puns.)
So Martinez’s office spent Thursday fighting back.
A few months ago, Martinez needed a haircut on short notice, spokesman Greg Blair told The Times in an email. One of her staffers called about half a dozen hair stylists, including Darden, before finding one who could fit her in. At the time, Darden didn’t utter a word about gay marriage, Blair said.
That changed in recent weeks, when Darden left a voice mail that the governor’s office released to reporters Thursday. In it, Darden appears to have recently learned that Martinez opposed gay marriage, and said he was “upset and distraught” over her stance.
Then Darden mentioned a recent controversy in which a Democratic lawmaker referred to Martinez as “the Mexican” for whom a colleague had been “carrying water.” (The lawmaker later apologized.)
“I do believe the comment about ‘taking the Mexican some water’ was appropriate, since she wants to be attacking the gay people,” Darden said in the message. “You may pass this on and let her listen to it. And, Susana, if you are listening to it, shame on you.
“I am going to let all gay people know,” he continued, “stop serving you, stop providing you with what you need.”
It’s unclear what prompted Darden’s phone call.